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A Tokyo Neighborhood Known for Food!

Tsukishima, Tokyo: Monjayaki

From National Geographics Travel:


Beneath the refined face of Japanese cuisine thrives what the locals call “B-grade gourmet”—low-cost, no-frills but tasty fare such as ramen and yakitori.

In Tokyo, nothing better represents that epicurean underbelly than monjayaki, a dish that comes to the table as a bowl of runny batter mixed with a choice of meat, fish, and finely chopped vegetables, before diners fry it into a sticky pancake. Originating as a children’s snack—and designed to ensure nothing went to waste—monjayaki remains unique to the Greater Tokyo area. To try it, head to Tsukishima—dubbed “Monja Town”—a man-made island that neighbors former Edo-era fishing communities in Tokyo Bay. 

Among Tsukishima’s high-rise condos you’ll find some 80 monjayaki joints that serve as reminders of the area’s working-class roots.

Try Noto, which, like many of the best restaurants in Tsukishima, has walls plastered with the signatures of visiting Japanese celebs and sports stars. Just don’t be put off by the slightly run-down interiors and aging tatami mat flooring; the monja here is some of the best in Tokyo.

—Rob Goss

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